I liked Oryx and Crake so much I got the sequel, The Year of the Flood–although I’ve heard several people say it can stand alone and doesn’t need any knowledge of Oryx and Crake in order to read it.
So far this is true. The story follows several characters who are a part of the God’s Gardeners cult as they prepare for the prophesied ‘waterless flood’ that will wipe out humanity. It happens parallel to the events in Oryx and Crake, but from this different viewpoint.
I found myself several times wondering what it would be like to join a cult like this–one that segregated itself from society. Life would be simpler, that’s for sure. It seems appealing in some ways, to be cut off from all the requirements of technology and the demands of employment. To just step out of the race to get more more more.
But what affect can you really have on a society that you aren’t an active part of? How can you bring change to something you’ve left behind?
The characters in the book aren’t trying to change anything, of course, they believe it is beyond saving and are just preparing for it all to collapse.
Our society, though, can be saved. So we should do our best to save it from within–despite the allure of running away to start fresh, unfettered by all the garbage and evil that’s grown up around us.